In historical and constitutional terms, the recent political status vote in Puerto Rico was a necessary but obviously not decisive step on the road of self-determination leading to full self-government.
The capacity of the commonwealth government created under the local constitution to exercise governmental powers in local affairs is like that of local government in the states of the union in regard to non-federal affairs at the local level.
Now that the there is a path for the people of Puerto Rico to express their self-determination on Puerto Rico's political status, there are some who seek to block that path.
However, the sovereignty of the states is constitutionally defined and recognized, while the powers of the local government in Puerto Rico are defined by, and subject to alteration under, federal statutory law.
Specifically, the reservation of sovereignty to the people of the states in matters not governed by federal law is constitutionally defined and permanently enshrined in the 10th Amendment.